The SABR Bookshelf: Spring 2012

Here are The SABR Bookshelf listings for Spring 2012. To get your NEW book listed on The SABR Bookshelf, make sure a review copy is sent to: SABR, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

To ensure a listing in The Baseball Index — SABR’s online catalog of baseball research materials at — make sure a review copy is sent to The Baseball Index, 4025 Beechwood Pl., Riverside, CA 92506.

These books can be purchased at the SABR Bookstore, powered by

Bolded names indicates that the author(s) is a SABR member. Publishers’ contact information can be found by clicking here.


A People’s History of Baseball
By Mitchell Nathanson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Illinois Press $29.95 (hrdcvr) 978-0-252-03680-4 Amazon
  • Summary: Nathanson’s A People’s History of Baseball examines the relationship between the history of baseball and larger, extistential components of American life including nationalism, mass media, legal history and race relations.

Imperfect: An Improbable Life
By Jim Abbott and Tim Brown

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Ballantine Books $26.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0-345-52325-9 Amazon
  • Summary: Jim Abbott’s autobiography is built around the perfect game he pitched for the Yankees, but covers his life from birth without his right hand until his early post-baseball years.

Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift
By Harvey Araton

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $26.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0-547-74672-2 Amazon
  • Summary: A longtime New York Times writer shares a story of baseball, tradition and friendship that extends far beyond the ballfield.

Behind the Plate: A Catcher’s View of the Braves Dynasty
By Javier Lopez with Gary Caruso

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Independent Publishers Group $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-0-60078-653-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Lopez’ autobiography focuses on his years with the Atlanta Braves and the pitchers he worked with.

Fenway Park: Images of America
By David Hickey, Raymond Sinibaldi and Kerry Keene

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Arcadia Publishing $21.99 (sftcvr) 978-0-73857-688-6 Amazon
  • Summary: Three SABR members use historic photographs from the Boston Public Library to tell the story of Boston’s beloved Fenway Park, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.

The Baseballl Hall of Shame:The Best of Blooperstown
By Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Lyons Press $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7627-7845-4 Amazon
  • Summary: Nash and Zullo’s book features some of the best comical stories in baseball history. This addition features new stories about players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. These are the first inductees in more than 20 years, along with more than 200 of the best “Hall of Shame” stories compiled.

Hit by Pitch: Ray Chapman, Carl Mays and the Fatal Fastball
By Molly Lawless

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-4609-4 Amazon
  • Summary: This graphic history tells the story of Ray Chapman’s beaning and subsequent death due to a pitch by Carl Mays. It adopts various viewpoints and concludes with a bitter Mays lamenting his exclusion from the Hall of Fame.

Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire
By Michael Schafer

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $19.99 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-5945-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Schafer umpired youth baseball for 35 years and tells his stories with humor and insight, giving youth players and coaches a new perspective on their experiences.

Hardball Legends and Journeymen and Short-Timers: 333 Illustrated Baseball Biographies
By Ronnie Joyner

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $25.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-7052-5 Amazon
  • Summary: Joyner’s work harks back to the cartoonists of the pre-television era, with detailed pen sketches of 333 players, plus cartoonish sidebars of anecdotes or records.

The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball: Biographies of 1,084 Players, Owners, Managers and Umpires
By David Nemec

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $55.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-7864-9044-8 Amazon
  • Summary: This book completes Nemec’s trilogy of 19th Century baseball profiles. Two volumes of biographies of better known figures were published by the University of Nebraska Press last year (see below). Many of these people, while more obscure, throw light into some of the murkier corners of the early years of the professional game.

Drawing Card: A Baseball Novel
By Dorothy Seymour Mills

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
McFarland & Co. $25.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0-78646-814-0 Amazon
  • Summary: Legendary baseball historian has published a novel about a woman who signed a minor league contract, which was then canceled by the Commissioner of Baseball, and what she did about it.

Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick
By Paul Dickson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Walker & Co. $26.00 (hrdcvr) 978-0-8027-1778-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Relying on primary sources, including more than a hundred interviews, Paul Dickson has crafted a richly detailed portrait of an American original: baseball impresario and innovator, independent spirit and unflinching advocate of racial equality, Bill Veeck.

Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball
By Christopher J. Lamb

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-0-8032-1076-9 Amazon
  • Summary: Drawing on hundreds of newspaper articles and interviews with journalists, Chris Lamb reveals how differently black and white newspapers, and black and white America, viewed racial equality. He shows how white mainstream sportswriters perpetuated the color line by participating in what their black counterparts called a “conspiracy of silence.” Between 1933 and 1945, black newspapers and the Communist Daily Worker published hundreds of articles and editorials calling for an end to baseball’s color line.

Connie Mack: The Turbulent and Triumphant Years, 1915-1931
By Norman L. Macht

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-0-8032-2039-3 Amazon
  • Summary: The second volume of Macht’s definitive biography of the Tall Tactician. This covers the middle part of his career, the years in which he rebuilt the A’s into the powerhouse of the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan
By Robert K. Fitts

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-0-8032-2984-6 Amazon
  • Summary: For baseball fans, the Babe Ruth-led All-Star tour of Japan in 1934 was a goodwill exercise, and maybe a chance for Moe Berg to do a little spying. Fitts sets the tour against rising nationalism among the Japanese military and how the tour was affected by it.

Major League Baseball Profiles 1870-1900 Vol. 1: The Ballplayers who Built the Game
By David Nemec

Major League Baseball Profiles 1870-1900 Vol. 2: The Hall of Famers and Memorable Personalities Who Shaped the Game
By David Nemec

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $39.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-3024-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Two-volume set of David Nemec’s thorough collection of 19th century player profiles.

Sometimes They Even Shook Your Hand: Portraits of Champions Who Walked Among Us
By John Schulian

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $19.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-3776-6 Amazon
  • Summary: The veteran sports writer presents 64 profiles of athletes including 22 major leaguers.

The Team that Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers
Edited by Lyle Spatz

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $26.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-3992-0 Amazon
  • Summary: This is the first of a series of team profile books compiled by SABR and published by the University of Nebraska Press. It contains 81 articles including profiles of all players, manager, coaches and owners as well as articles about Jackie Robinson’s debut and travails, Dodger attendance and other developments.

Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles
Edited by Mark Armour and Malcolm Allen

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $24.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-3993-7 Amazon
  • Summary: The second book from SABR’s partnership with Nebraska to produce volumes of profiles of especially interesting baseball teams. This one includes Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, the Robinson boys and assorted other interesting Hall of Famers, regulars, scrubeenies, coaches and broadcasters.

Double No-Hit: Johnny Vander Meer’s Historic Night Under the Lights
By James W. Johnson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
University of Nebraska Press $15.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8032-7139-5 Amazon
  • Summary: Much like Dan Okrent’s classic Nine Innings, Johnson’s book uses an inning-by-inning approach to Vander Meer’s no-hitters to examine night baseball and other issues of the teams and the game in the late 1930s.

Strikeout: Baseball, Broadway and the Brotherhood in the 19th Century
By James Hawking

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Sunstone Press $26.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-8653-4864-6 Amazon
  • Summary: The retired Chicago State professor’s novel follows 19th-century baseball star John Montgomery Ward, his marriage to stage actress Helen Dauvray and the Ward-led rebellion against autocratic baseball owners.

Joyce Westerman: Baseball Hero
By Bob Kann

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Wisconsin Historical Society Press $12.95 (sftcvr) 978-0-87020-486-9 Amazon
  • Summary: Biography of AAGPBL player Joyce Westerman for younger readers. The story covers her hardscrabble youth, through her 8 years in baseball, marriage children and work at the post office.

The Last Rebel Yell: True tales from baseball’s last bastion of racial segregation: the Alabama-Florida League
By Ken Brooks

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Seneca Park Publications $9.99 (ebook) 978-0-96164-470-3 Amazon
  • Summary: A near-total rewrite of a long out-of-print 1986 book, with new interviews and photos. The Alabama-Florida League operated from 1936 to 1962. When the league folded, it was the last professional league without a black player.

Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel
By David B. Stinson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Huntington Park Publications $15.00 (sftcvr) 978-0-98-366890-9 Amazon
  • Summary: The fictional story of Byron Bennett, a former minor leaguer who visits vanished ballparks such as Baltimore’s Union Park, Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Cleveland’s League Park and Detroit’s Tiger Stadium in an attempt to bring the past back to life.

Baseball Fantography: A Celebration in Snapshots and Stories from the Fans
By Andy Strasberg

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Abrams Image $19.95 (hrdcvr) 978-1-4197-0213-6 Amazon
  • Summary: A celebration of baseball through the eyes of fans via photos they’ve taken of players, ballparks, and related subjects over the past nine decades, along with essays, sidebars, and quotes. Includes more than 250 never-before-published images.

The Greatest Show on Dirt: A Novel
By James Bailey

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
CreateSpace $12.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-4611-1650-9 Amazon
  • Summary: A fictional novel about Lane Hamilton’s experience as an employee for the Durham Bulls. After he is fired from his corporate job, he lands a job with the Bulls, where he realizes a bad day at Durham Athletic Park is much better of that ion Corporate America. This is a realistic portrayal of whqat it was like to work in the minor leagues in the 1990s.

Baseball’s Lost Tradition: Two Eight-Team Leagues
By Eric Thompson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Self-published $25.00 (sftcvr) 978-1-4675-1284-8 Contact the author
  • Summary: SABR member Thompson recounts his ground-breaking research into the 1961 American League and 1962 National League expansion drafts and then presents a heavily statistical fictional account of how careers would have gone had expansion not taken place.

The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy
By Daniel R. Levitt

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Ivan R. Dee $39.95 (hdcvr) 978-1-566-63869-2 Amazon
  • Summary: Levitt, a former winner of a Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, is back with an authoritative history of the Federal League, the last professional baseball league to challenge the American and National League monopoly.

100 Things Rangers fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
By Rusty Burson

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Triumph Books $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-60078-642-6 Amazon
  • Summary: Longtime Texas writer Rusty Burson gives Rangers fans insight on the 100 things they should know and do before they die. Burson has collected every piece of Rangers knowledge and trivia and ranks them for an easy-to-follow checklist for all fans.

100 Things Yankees Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
By David Fischer

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Triumph Books $14.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-60078-669-3 Amazon
  • Summary: David Fischer highlights information that most fans would not know about the Yankees. The 100 items Fischer hits are things all Yankees fans should know and do, whether they are a die-hard fan or just started wearing the pinstripes.

Safe At Home: Willie Mays Aikens
By Gregory Jordan

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Triumph Books $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-1-60078-696-9 Amazon
  • Summary: Bill James famously celebrated Aikens’ first career triple and this book marries his workmanlike major league career with his drug conviction and return.

Marietta College Baseball: The Story of the ‘Etta Express
By Gary Caruso

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
The History Press $21.99 (sftcvr) 978-1-60949-464-3 Amazon
  • Summary: Author Gary Caruso delves into the story behind the Marietta College baseball team, which has won a record five NCAA Division III National Championships.

Tales from the Philadelphia Phillies Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Phillies Stories Ever Told
By Rich Westcott

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Sports Publishing $14.95 (hrdcvr) 978-1-61321-036-9 Amazon
  • Summary: The third edition of Westcott’s “Tales from the …” series includes updated stories from the 2008 World Series championship Phillies team, a new National League powerhouse.

Red Sox Review: 110 Years of Boston Red Sox Photos
By Mark Stang

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
St. Johann Press $25.95 (hrdcvr) 978-1-878-28270-5 Amazon
  • Summary: A collection of more than 260 photographs, including many previously unpublished images, that spans Red Sox history from Babe Ruth to David Ortiz.

Basic Ball: New Approaches for Determining the Greatest Baseball, Football and Basketball Players of All-Time
By Dave Heeren and Pete Palmer

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
St. Johann Press $29.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-878-28276-7 Amazon
  • Summary: Two of the top statisticians in American sports combine their efforts to explain the most effective statistical methods for analyzing and rating players and teams.

Painting the Corners: A Collection of Off-Center Baseball Stories
By Bob Weintraub

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Iguana Books $9.99 (ebook) 978-1-927403-03-7 Amazon
  • Summary: A collection of fictional stories that includes “Knuckleball”, about a star pitcher who can’t start Game 7 of the World Series because the only catcher he’s ever had gets injured; and “The Way They Play is Criminal”, about teams from Alcatraz and San Quentin squaring off in a game.

Shipwrecked: A People’s History of the Seattle Mariners
By Jon Wells

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Epicenter Press $15.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-935347-18-7 Amazon
  • Summary: Wells has been doing independent journalism on the Mariners since 1996 and he’s developed a jaundiced view of their competence, wondering why a team that developed three first-ballot Hall of Famers in a short period but couldn’t get to the World Series.

Third Base For Life: A Memoir of Fathers, Sons, and Baseball
By Joshua L. Berkowitz

Publisher Retail Price ISBN Buy it
Vantage Point Books $15.95 (sftcvr) 978-1-93646-722-8 Amazon
  • Summary: Berkowitz’s debut book is the true story of 12 bungling and inept fourth-grade boys from a small Jewish day school in Newton, Massachusetts, who band together to challenge the top 10-year-old baseball talent at Cooperstown Dreams Park.

To go back to The SABR Bookshelf, click here.